Slam Dunk Festival North and South, taking over Leeds and Hatfield in late May have added a slew of new bands to the bill! Mainstage headliner While She Sleeps, with Code Orange, This Wild Life, Doll Skin, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Spunge, A, Popes Of Chillitown, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, The Suicide Machines have joined the sick lineup that already includes headliners like Sum 41, Don Broco, NOFX, Billy Talent, The Used, Pennywise and many more! VIP tickets are all sold out but general passes are on sale at the link below. Slam Dunk Festival North takes place Saturday 23rd May at Leeds, Temple Newsam and Slam Dunk Festival South takes place Sunday 24th May at Hatfield, Hatfield Park.Continue reading
Download Festival 2018 has made another major announcement, adding 21 bands and WWE NXT Live! Wrestling to the line-up. Added to the bill are Avatar, Andrew W.K., Bad Religion, CKY, Nothing More, Black Foxxes, Hell Is For Heroes and many more. WWE will bring an immersive NXT show starring Aleister Black, Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Ricochet, Nikki Cross, Shayna Baszler, Kairi Sane, The Undisputed Era and more. Continue reading
Ghost Cult once again brings you another “End Of Year” list, full of memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the world. Today we have Simon Glacken of I Like Press, one of the top publicists in the UK. If you happen to not know his name, you certainly know the bands he reps due to his tireless work such as Anathema, Paradise Lost, Katatonia, Darkthrone, 65daysofstatic, Bloodbath, Black Moth, The Pineapple Thief, My Dying Bride, TesseracT, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, SikTh, Mos Generator, Crippled Black Phoenix, and Cradle Of Filth to name just a few. We thank Simon for his thoughtful and detailed list of his Top Ten Albums of 2016.Continue reading
“Na na na na, I’m aware I am an asshole” chirps Ronnie Radke seconds into the perky title track of the third Falling In Reverse album, Just Like You (Epitaph); a relevant self-aware line for the people who find the former Escape The Fate frontman a hurdle to get over in and of himself. While some won’t listen to Megadeth because of Dave Mustaine’s crazy-ass bollock spouting (rather than the valid reason they haven’t done anything worthwhile for 25 years), liking Falling in Reverse shouldn’t mean forgiving or condoning his actions, as there has to be a separation between the man and the band.
Because, while Just Like You is not the album where Radke and his compadres grow up, it is the one where they produce a convincing, enjoyable slice of modern pop-rock fun and catchy metalcore.
‘Chemical Prisoner’, an energetic tune that recalls A at their best, kicks things off as the opening quartet of tunes of the album bring the sun and the fun, with staccato rock bouncing shoulder to shoulder with pop sensibilities. There are dashes of My Chemical Romance as spirited verses drop to half-time anthemic choruses, while English lead guitarist Jackie Vincent shines with a series of Yngwie-esque classical tinged solos. Some of the lyrics are dreadful, and the “OMG! You make me cum!” on ‘Sexy Drug’ will make parents the world over cringe, but the sugary swagger, the hook-filled rapid-vocal delivery in the verses and the festival-friendly chorus more than make up for it.
There’s plenty of looking to the big hitters for influence as ‘Just Like You’ could be Blink 182 jamming with Fall Out Boy while choruses throughout point to Def Leppard and Warrant albums in the collection. Elsewhere, ‘Guillotine IV’ and ‘The Bitter End’ showcase the other side of Falling… as they head back to beatdown town and out Asking Alexandria Asking Alexandria as they churn through the metalcore, but never at the expense of the chorus or the song. ‘My Heart’s To Blame’ is a slower, more considered number, not a million miles away from some of the more thoughtful moments of Sempiternal (RCA/Epitaph), and ‘Wait and See’ flits from Eminem to King 810 to Panic! At The Disco, further showing the diversity on offer.
What is interesting is that, while the grind of a track like ‘Die For You’ spices up proceedings and adds an impetus, where Falling In Reverse truly shine is when they cast off the trappings of trying to hang with the heavy, and let the pop rock bravado shine through. These guys can write hits, and while they could be a great rock band, they’re not much better than average when they do their metalcore thang – it makes you wonder if they’re trying to prove something that doesn’t need proving.
However, when all is said and done, Just Like You is a swag-bag full of new toys for their hordes of teenage fans to sing along and lose their shit to, and I have a feeling Ronnie and the boys are going to do pretty damn well out of it, thank you very much.
For the past few months UK based riff lords Krokodil have been making all sort of headlines, most involving people referring to them as “Slipknot’s new bassist’s other band”, which is completely unjustified and harsh as it is hardly judging the band on its own merits. With all the coverage, the eyes of the metal world are on Krokodil as they prepare to unleash their debut album Nachash (Spinefarm) so it’s a very good thing that the album is rather bloody brilliant.
The band, which contains members from a menagerie of great British bands such as Cry For Silence, Sikth, Gallows and of course the mighty A, as well as now Iowa’s own metal behemoth Slipknot, Krokodil sound like a well oiled riff making machine and from the sounds of Nachash the machine has been working overtime on this release. With a heavy dose of Mastodon in its veins, Krokodil are a groove juggernaut that pummels all in its path with its three guitarists of fury, a decision that usually over complicates the material but in this case triples up the guitar tracks, like Helmet making it sound as heavy as a ten ton rhino that’s thinking of gaining a few pounds.
With a formula that blends groove based riffage with a later day Cancer Bats bounce and groove is a fantastic mix which keeps up the pace till the bitter end, this on top of the high quality production of the album which makes it sound colossal. If the album does have a mild weakness it is that the vocals are a tiny bit one dimensional, the hardcore barks work well with the up tempo nature of the albums and work perfectly on the second track ‘Skin of The Earth’, but can come across as one note when the album gets into its final few tracks.
Overall, Nachash is a quality release from a band who deserve a lot more credit for their musical output and certainly do not deserve to be known simply as that other band with someone from Slipknot in, they’re not a DJ Starscream or Dirty Little Rabbits. As for this being the bands’ debut album, hopefully there will be even better to come from the band in the future, but for now Nachash is a cracking start to their career. Its high tempo, riffy and most importantly contains quality throughout.
Following up from their demo Season of Sacrifice earlier in the year, Amidst the Trees (Forever Plagued) is the debut album from Finnish two-piece Taatsi. Taking their name from a sacrificial stone located in northern Finland, everything about the band image conveys a connection to nature and ancient spirituality, retreating from humanity and returning to the earth. It is apt then that they describe themselves as ‘Nature Mystical Black Metal,’ with each track fitting firmly within atmospheric black metal.
At just 30 minutes long, the album cycles through keyboard melodies backed by mid-paced guitar harmonies and topped off with distant screeches from vocalist A. When done well, atmospheric black metal can transport the listener to cold and distant lands, carving out vast mental landscapes of forests and mountainous peaks. Taatsi however have failed to inspire, lending more to directionless meandering lacking any real sense of progression.
While the keyboards go some way to creating mystery, from opening track ‘Malign Ghost of the Wood’ to closing track ‘Hunts in the Night’s Mind,’ they dominate the sound, forming a constant barrage of noise.It doesn’t take long for the sound to become tiring and repetitive, lacking in any real inspiration or new ideas throughout with only slight changes of style in tracks like ‘Gateways of the North’.
Amidst the Trees has nothing new or inspiring about it. The constant inoffensive and repetitive nature of the album leaves it languishing and ultimately, although the album plays at earthly spirits and ancient wisdom, it fails to really inspire or capture any depth of the imagination.
Tatsi is too kvlt for Facebook